Renfrewshire Council will hire a handful of gritters to boost its winter maintenance programme after a deal was given the green light by elected members.

A contract for the hire of the five vehicles was approved by the local authority’s finance, resources and customer services policy board.

An agreement – which is worth in excess of £470,000 – will now be signed with industry leading manufacturer Econ Engineering.

“I wonder what their names will be,” Councillor John Shaw, board convener and SNP representative for Renfrew North and Braehead, quipped at the meeting.

A report to the board explained: “Renfrewshire Council have a requirement for the hire of five x 18T gritters for a period of three gritting seasons to assist with the council’s winter gritting programme.

“Renfrewshire Council’s environment, housing and infrastructure service has a statutory obligation to have gritters in place to assist with the council’s winter gritting programme.

“This contract will support the council’s current fleet in order to carry out the winter gritting programme therefore ensuring roads within the council’s responsibility are managed and maintained and are safe during the winter months.”

The starting date for the contract is expected to be September 18, 2024, running until April 14, 2027. However, the dates will be confirmed in the council’s letter of acceptance to Econ Engineering.

Community benefits were requested as part of the procurement process and have formed part of the agreement. These include five work experience placements for those aged 16 and over, who are not currently in employment, education or training.

The report said the contract value of £474,090, excluding VAT, will be met from the council’s environment, housing and infrastructure revenue (external vehicle hire) budget.

It added that the deal will ensure all roads managed and maintained by the local authority are done so to the “highest possible standard” during the winter months.